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Forward Head Posture Caused by Texting

 

Forward Head Posture Caused by Texting

Your Body Is Sending You a Message

The need for chiropractic care has significantly increased with advances in mobile technology, and the reality that the public at large is constantly "connected." About two years ago, I started to notice that more and more young people were coming to my office and presenting with similar complaints. They all had neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, or numbness and tingling into the upper extremity. During a report of findings meeting with one of these young patients, her mother asked me, "Well, what does she have?" I looked over at the patient and noticed that she was buried in her cell phone with her head flexed forward - texting. With that, I replied, "It's simple. She has text neck." I pointed out to the patient's mother that at 16 years old, her daughter had a reversed cervical curve with mild degenerative changes, and that she was too young to be experiencing these bony changes. I then asked the patient how often or how much she texts. She replied that she texts all day long, and that it is her primary mode of communication. (Dr. Alf Breig, neurosurgeon and Nobel Prize recipient)

These days, people are constantly "connected" to their hand-held devices, whether it is their cellular phones, portable video games like Nintendo DS, e-readers such as Amazon Kindle, or they are just using apps on an iPhone. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that young people 8-18 years old spend in excess of seven-and-a-half hours a day using some form of mobile media. As a result, this younger demographic will surely be presenting to our offices with more forward head posture (FHP).

Many, if not all chiropractors have at one time or another conducted a screening to educate the public on the importance of good posture and explained how poor posture negatively affects the body's ability to function.

Forward Head Posture (FHP) is a term used to describe a posture in which the cervical spine is positioned forward, and the head moves forward relative to the shoulders. Forward Head Posture, or Forward Head Syndrome (FHS), can cause a host of symptoms often attributed to neurological disorders, allergic asthma, disc and joint degeneration, and vascular problems.

Forward Head Syndrome is caused by habits which cause one to engage in poor posture for long periods of time:

  • Too much sitting and not enough movement in one’s daily life
  • Extended computer use
  • Extended cell phone and tablet use
  • Sleeping with the head elevated too high
  • Carrying a heavy backpack
  • Trauma – falls; whiplash; etc.
  • Improper exercise

Having the head in a forward posture can have enormous consequences:

  • It pulls the entire spine out of alignment.
  • Pressure may be created on the sub-occipital nerves, causing headaches.
  • Thoracic vertebrae are subjected to compressive forces which can lead to the creation of hyper-kyphosis (“Dowager’s Hump”).
  • Hyper-kyphotic posture affects lung capacity, and interferes with heart function.
  • Forward Head Posture may result in the loss of 30% of vital lung capacity.
  • The vertebrae in the neck can become wedged forward, creating pressure on the discs.
  • The vertebral artery in the neck can become compressed, causing reduced blood flow to the brain. This is exacerbated by the constant contraction of the sub-occipital muscles which help raise the chin.
  • There may be tingling and numbness in the arms, or even reduced blood flow to the arms and hands.
  • Neurological problems that can resemble Parkinson’s or Dementia

We have seen many patients in the clinic who had what appeared to be neurological degeneration symptoms that were, in fact, a result of nerve and blood vessel compression in the neck. Returning the head to its correct position, and the upper back and thoracic area to an open and free moving state, resolved the symptoms.

Text Neck Prevention with Chiropractic Care

There are steps you can take to prevent text neck and forward head posture.

The most effective method is keeping your spine healthy and that’s what we are all about!

Regular chiropractic care maintains the proper alignment of your spine which helps prevent many types of health conditions including text neck.

In addition to optimizing your spine, we will also teach you beneficial techniques for holding your mobile device that minimize strain on your neck and spine.

Learn more about text neck and the many benefits of our chiropractic care by calling our office (626) 447-4888 Arcadia or (562) 867-6183 Lakewood and scheduling an appointment.

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Office Hours

Arcadia Office

DayMorningAfternoon
Monday9:00am6:00pm
Tuesday9:00am6:00pm
Wednesday9:00am6:00pm
Thursday9:00am6:00pm
Friday9:00am6:00pm
SaturdayBy Appt. Only
SundayClosedClosed
Day Morning Afternoon
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
9:00am 9:00am 9:00am 9:00am 9:00am By Appt. Only Closed
6:00pm 6:00pm 6:00pm 6:00pm 6:00pm Closed


 

Lakewood Office

Monday 10:00am 6:00pm
Tuesday 9:00am 6:00pm
Wednesday 10:00am 6:00pm
Thursday 9:00am 6:00pm
Friday 10:00am 6:00pm
Saturday 8:00am 1:00pm
Sunday Closed Closed